In every relationship, a high level of trust translates into palpable feelings of serenity, excitement, passion and optimism. These feelings typically accompany the beginning of life in a new community, such as starting a new job, falling in love, or bringing a baby into the world. But, as trust is eroded the wonderful feelings that accompany trust dissipate.

Attempting to relate in a sea of distrust is like trying to swim through a stream polluted with more and more debris. Low trust spawns adversarial relationships that must slosh through the muck and mire of defensiveness, cynicism, and indifference. Stalemates, resistance, rebellion, boredom, arguments and power struggles weave a picture that bears little resemblance to the tapestry that existed before trust was worn away.

Focusing on questions such as, “Am I worthy of other’s trust and am I trustworthy with myself?” opens to the relationships for which we truly yearn. But becoming trustworthy does not result from a single act. Only when others are consistently treated respectfully do they come to believe that we are worthy of their trust. Self-trust is built by dependably treating ourselves respectfully.

On a scale of 1-10 where do you think your trustworthiness would be rated by each of the following people: spouse, children, boss, and friends?


What are you doing or what will you be doing to become more trustworthy?

Send your comments and questions to:


QI & Me by Lance Secretan – Advisor and Coach to Leaders, Author

Lance Secretan ImageThe sacred energy we invest in our marriages and personal relationships, such as personal growth and mutual learning, being fully present, curiosity, freshness, spiritual passion, maintaining individuality AND (paradoxically) oneness, vulnerability, intimacy, humility, empathy, devotion, love, rituals, transparency, trust, and reliability—these, when practiced with sacred energy, lead to sacred and inspiring relationships. Since everything is connected and one—it stands to reason that these examples of Quintessential Intelligence will lead to inspiring relationships anywhere—at work, with nature, with each other—even with God. The illusion of separateness gets in the way of our potential to raise our game through the creation of inspiring relationships.

How QI Informs My Work and Personal Life

After spending a lifetime as both a leadership practitioner and an advisor and coach to leaders I have learned that approaching the subject of leadership in our traditional ways may have contributed more to our current crisis of leadership than our leadership successes. Classical physics invites us to measure matter and energy in a manner familiar through observable human experience, analyzing the separate parts, and this is largely the way we explain science and technology today. We measure and teach leadership in a similar way, using these classical approaches. Without getting into too much technical detail here, we have learned that these concepts do not adequately describe the universe, and that, in reality, the newer science of quantum physics informs us that there are no separate entities—everything is connected. Indeed, the concept of “quantum entanglement” describes the phenomena in which the act of measuring one thing determines the possible quantum state of another.

The outdated approach of classical physics, and therefore “the scientific method”, is what we have been using to study leadership—as a subject consisting of separate parts—leaders, followers, organizations, contexts, goals and more. We have even succumbed to the false belief that behavior displayed and exhibited within an organization is separate from, and sometimes not even appropriate for, life outside the organization—for example, at home. But this is an illusion—everything is connected and everything is one.

What My Most Profound Spiritual Teachers and Experiences Taught Me About QI

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, to quote Sir Isaac Newton. For me, a spiritual teacher is one who turns on an internal spiritual or emotional switch—for example, Richard Dawkins who said, “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” The truth is that there are only two truths: 1) We can be certain of nothing even though we pretend great wisdom, and, 2) Everything is one. The great religions and faith traditions, as well as quantum physics teach us this.

Practices That Help Me Integrate QI More Into My Life.

For nearly 50 years I have practiced meditation. I learned Transcendental Meditation in the 1960s, then graduated to a Zen practice, and then in the 1990s I learned Primordial Sound Meditation, which I have been practicing ever since. I not only meditate daily, but when I am sitting in airport lounges, before a speech, when someone irritates me, when I’m frustrated, when I’m marveling at a sunset. As much as I can, I turn any event into a meditation. Kayaking is a meditation. So is skiing. The experience of hiking in the wilderness and observing the extraordinary gifts of nature is a meditation. Listening to a symphony, reading a poem, making love, listening to music or a great conversation, savoring a meal— all these are meditations. Appreciating the wonders of the world, the brilliance of mankind, and the love of God, are all meditations.

Life is a mediation, because life is a series of relationships and our task is to make them sacred and inspiring. The heart stone in the image above that Tricia and I found together now sits in a quiet meditation spot on one of our out of the way walking trails.

About Lance Secretan

Lance Secretan

Dr. Lance Secretan is one of the most insightful and provocative leadership teachers of our time. He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, university professor, award-winning columnist and author of 15 books about inspiration and leadership and a recent memoir A Love Story. He coaches and advises leaders globally, and guides leadership teams who wish to transform their culture into the most inspirational in their industries. Read more